The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, established in 1978, is given annually to recognize women+ who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre. The Prize is administered in Houston, London and New York by a board of directors who choose six Judges each year, three from each side of the Atlantic.
This year’s finalists have been announced and amongst them are bestselling author and Agency Client Zadie Smith (White Teeth, On Beauty, Swing Time) for her play THE WIFE OF WILLESDEN which opened at Kiln Theatre last year after a sold-out critically acclaimed run in 2021.
Brooklyn Academy of Music in association with American Repertory Theater will present the New York premiere of Zadie Smith’s The Wife of Willesden. Kiln Theatre’s Artistic Director Indhu Rubasingham will direct the Off-Broadway production in the Harvey Theater April 1-16, 2023.
Zadie Smith has adapted the work from Chaucer’s “The Wife of Bath,” a story from the 14th century collection The Canterbury Tales, for her debut play which arrives following a sold-out run in London. Clare Perkins will star in the ensemble show’s cast as Alvita, a Jamaican-born British woman and local legend who takes over a North West London pub where she reigns. In her mid-50s, Alvita has much life experience—including five marriages, children, and more. Zadie Smith has put a modern translation spin on Chaucer’s work, showcasing wit, delving frankly into sexuality, and exploring the human talent for telling elaborate stories.
The list of finalists in full:
Anupama Chandrasekhar (India) The Father and the Assassin
Maryam Hamidi (UK) Moonset
Karen Hartman (US) New Golden Age
Katie Holly (Ireland) Her Hand on the Trellis
Kimber Lee (US) saturday
Sarah Mantell (US) In the Amazon Warehouse Parking Lot
ak payne (US) Amani
Francisca Da Silveira (US) pay no worship
Zadie Smith (UK) The Wife of Willesden
Ruby Thomas (UK) Linck and Mülhahn